MAD magazine exclusive: "The Future of Job Automation"

Writer Kenny Keil and award-winning artist John Martz have an all-new satirical comic timeline in the upcoming issue of MAD #550, titled "The Future of Job Automation." It takes a jab at robots' success in taking over human jobs in the future - even if they don't always get it right. The upcoming issue will be available on digital this Friday, 2/9 and on newsstands 2/20. Click here to embiggen the image. Read the rest

Land a job as a flight attendant for Area 51's airline!

The US defense contractor AECOM is known to operate a mysterious, classified airline called Janet that mostly flies between a terminal at Las Vegas's McCarran International Airport and the Nevada National Security Site, including Area 51. Janet's fleet includes a half-dozen Boeing 737-600s and five executive turboprop planes. Of course those planes need flight attendants to bring coffee, tea, and milk to the Men in Black. (The ETs prefer to fly their own craft.) Sound like fun work? Well, AECOM is hiring flight attendants! The job description sounds rather traditional except for this key requirement: "Must qualify for and maintain a top secret government security clearance and associated work location access. "

"Flight Attendant, Las Vegas, Nevada" (AECOM via Mysterious Universe)

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America's most gender-differentiated jobs

Drawn from U.S. census data, this chart [via] organizes the 50 most commonly-held jobs by gender. Auto mechanics, electricians and carpenters are mostly men, whereas secretaries, childcare and nursing are mostly women.

Close to evenly split are secondary school teachers, retail clerks and marketing managers. Did you know most accountants are women? Read the rest

To become a Secret Service agent, recruits must pass these training exercises

According to this New York Times article, the Secret Service needs more members:

...John Roth, the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, said last month as he laid out the Secret Service’s personnel shortfall at a hearing on Capitol Hill. Mr. Roth estimated that the agency needs to increase by 1,700 employees in five years, to 8,200, if it is to properly perform its investigative and better-known protection missions.

To show exactly what it takes to become (and remain) an agent, the Times went into a Secret Service training facility in Maryland. They filmed recruits performing the five rigorous training exercises they must pass: Physical training, control tactics, firearms (this course alone is 104 hours long), K9 and emergency response, and protective driving. The video is another one of those 360 degree ones. Read the rest

How crappy is your job? 200 jobs, ranked

For about 30 years, CareerCast has ranked jobs. Their best jobs in 2017 include analysts, engineers, scientists, and a few surprises like dieticians and speech pathologists. The crappiest job is newspaper reporter, which barely edged out broadcaster. Read the rest

The 10 worst jobs in America right now

Not all careers are created equal. Take journalism, for example. High stress, low growth, very low pay. Why would anyone choose this field? (You're asking the wrong person.) According to CareerCast, who ranked the 200 most common jobs in America, journalism is a pretty crummy field to be in this year (as in, last place on the list).

CareerCast used metrics such as "growth outlook, income, environmental conditions and stress" as their basis in creating this list. Here is the methodology they used.

And now (...drumroll...), here are the 10 worst jobs of 2017:

1. Newspaper reporter (Median Salary: $37,820)

2. Broadcaster (Median Salary: $38,870)

3. Logger (Median Salary: $37,590)

4. Enlisted military personnel (Median Salary: $27,936)

5. Pest control worker (Median Salary: $33,040)

6. Disc jockey (Median Salary: $30,830)

7. Advertising salesperson (Median Salary: $50,380)

8. Firefighter (Median Salary: $48,030)

9. Retail salesperson (Median Salary: $22,900)

10. Taxi driver (Median Salary: $24,300)

And in case you're wondering, the very best job these days is that of statistician (Median Salary: $80,110). To see CareerCast's full list of 200 ranked jobs, click here.

Image: Israel Government Press Office Read the rest

Meet Flippy, the burger-flipping robot

Miso Robotics' Flippy is a "kitchen assistant" robot that can grill, flip, prep, fry, and plate food.

“We focus on using AI and automation to solve the high pain points in restaurants and food prep," says Flippy CEO David Zito. "That’s the dull, dirty and dangerous work around the grill, the fryer, and other prep work like chopping onions. The idea is to help restaurants improve food quality and safety without requiring a major kitchen redesign.”

And what of those millions of people who flip burgers to make ends meet?

“Tasting food and creating recipes will always be the purview of a chef," says Flippy CEO David Zito. "And restaurants are gathering places where we go to interact with each other. Humans will always play a very critical role in the hospitality side of the business given the social aspects of food. We just don’t know what the new roles will be yet in the industry.”

(TechCrunch via Laughing Squid)

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What political party dominates your occupation?

Verdant Labs put together an interesting infographic on the political tendencies of various jobs. Read the rest

President-Elect Trump reportedly denied John Bolton a cabinet position because he didn't like his moustache

Legendary nutcase John Bolton was in the running for a high-level cabinet pick in millionaire president-elect Donald Trump's administration. Multiple sources claim that he was denied serious consideration, however, because Trump makes decisions based upon people's looks. To put it plainly: he simply cannot stand to look at Bolton's equally legendary facial hair. The cabinet hunt was described as a "casting call" in one report.

Given Trump’s own background as a master brander and showman who ran beauty pageants as a sideline, it was probably inevitable that he would be looking beyond their résumés for a certain aesthetic in his supporting players.

“Presentation is very important because you’re representing America not only on the national stage but also the international stage, depending on the position,” said Trump transition spokesman Jason Miller.

To lead the Pentagon, Trump chose a rugged combat general, whom he compares to a historic one. At the United Nations, his ambassador will be a poised and elegant Indian American with a compelling immigrant backstory. As secretary of state, Trump tapped a neophyte to international diplomacy, but one whose silvery hair and boardroom bearing project authority.

Now you know why Chris Christie doesn't have a job. Read the rest

Designing the future of work

Over at Democracy Journal, my Institute for the Future colleagues Marina Gorbis and Devin Fidler explore the "digital coordination economy" (aka the on-demand economy) and how "it may take deliberate design choices in platform architecture, business models, new civic services, and public policy to prevent this increasingly seamless “coordination economy” from becoming highly inequitable as well." From Democracy Journal:

As software takes an increasing role on both sides of transactions—ordering and producing—it promises to bring vastly more efficient coordination to these kinds of basic economic functions. This emerging digital coordination economy, with its efficient matching and fulfillment of both human and nonhuman needs, has the potential to generate tremendous economic growth.

However, as software engineers essentially author a growing segment of our economic operating system, it may take deliberate design choices in platform architecture, business models, new civic services, and public policy to prevent this increasingly seamless “coordination economy” from becoming highly inequitable as well. Already the growth of on-demand work has allowed investors and owners in some industrialized regions to reap substantial financial returns while many of the people using platforms to generate income streams are struggling to maintain their standard of living. Uber drivers, for example, have seen a drop in earnings in the United States over the last couple of years, even as the company continues to grow at a dramatic pace.

It is clear that the fundamental technologies driving the coordination economy are neither “good” nor “bad,” but rather offer a heady combination of opportunities and challenges.

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Random University Administration Job Title Generator

As Boing Boing U's Assistant Deputy President of the Committee on Neighborhood Communications and Principal Vice Liaison to Interdepartmental Technology of the Subcommittee for Academic Communications, I insist that we form a committee to investigate whether the "web site" University Title Generator constitutes unacceptable bait speech. Read the rest

California and New York raise state minimum wage to $15

California governor Jerry Brown today approved a mandatory minimum wage of $15 an hour by 2022. The bill's enactment came within hours of a similar bill signing in New York by governor Andrew Cuomo.

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Help wanted: Professional Christmas light untangler

UK retailer Tesco is hiring "Christmas Light Untanglers" so they can provide this new service at their stores.

Ideal candidates are "able to untangle 3 meters of Christmas lights in under three minutes" and "passionate about Christmas."

From the job description at Tesco Careers:

Your roles and responsiblities will include: • Man and managing the Christmas Lights Untangling stand • Taking time to listen and help out wherever you can: Every little helps • Check lights and bulbs for signs of breakage / broken bulbs and report findings to the customer • Handle customers Christmas lights carefully to keep everything in tip-top condition • Talking to colleagues, sharing your enthusiasm and helping to create team spirit • Getting to know your customers, greet them with a smile and serve them with pride. • Give a brilliant customer experience, making sure you deliver only the best service and put a smile on customers faces • Successfully untangle customers Christmas lights neatly, quickly and efficiently and in an orderly fashion • Abide by our Health and Safety policies • Always be there on time and properly presented • Be passionate and knowledgeable about the service you are offering

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Wozniak on Jobs biopic

With a new trailer out to promote Kutcher-starring biopic Jobs, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has new thoughts on the movie—not all of them negative. [Jesus Diaz / Kinja] Read the rest

How to: Become a tenured professor at Harvard

You have, at some point, probably heard an academic wistfully daydream about what it would be like to have tenure, or (alternately) moan about the process that it takes to achieve that dream. Tenure is a promotion, but it's more than just a promotion. For instance, it's a lot harder to fire a tenured professor — something that is meant to make it easier for them to research and speak out on what they want without fear of administrative crackdowns. As a result, getting tenure can be a process that is nothing short of labyrinthian. This piece in the Harvard Crimson by Nicholas Fandos and Noah Pisner describes the phone-book-sized dossiers, decade-long preparations, and secret tribunals that are all a part of the standard Harvard tenure process. Read the rest

The scientific field with the best obituaries

Everybody dies. But naturalists — the people who study animals and plants in those species' natural environments — well, they die interestingly. Some recent causes of death in this scientific field include: Elephant charge, being eaten by caimans (assumed), and the plague. Read the rest

Would you like to be a Marijuana Consultant?

Attention! The state of Washington requires a pot consultant with many years of experience in how cannabis is grown, dried, packaged and "cooked into brownies." It really is time we opened a job board for this stuff. Read the rest

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